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Parliamentary Panel Advocates Enhanced Healthcare Access through CGHS Expansion

In its recent report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Welfare emphasized the urgent need for the timely availability of quality medicines and the expansion of the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) network. The panel, led by Rajya Sabha member Bhubaneswar Kalita, underscored concerns regarding the quality of medicines dispensed at CGHS pharmacies and recommended rigorous testing measures to ensure medication efficacy.

Additionally, it called for a streamlined procurement process with a 24-hour turnaround time for essential medicines, particularly antibiotics, to alleviate inconvenience for CGHS beneficiaries. With over 40 lakh beneficiaries nationwide, the panel urged proactive steps to establish new CGHS centers, wellness facilities, and polyclinics, especially in underserved areas and aspirational districts.

Highlighting the absence of CGHS wellness centers in regions like Arunachal Pradesh and Union Territories such as Ladakh, A & N islands, and Lakshadweep, the committee stressed the need for equitable access to healthcare services for all beneficiaries, including pensioners.